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Exterior finishes
Exterior finishes overview
Metalith anti-ram and blast mitigation barriers - exterior finishes photo

Exterior finishes

Concepts and uses

Most of the pages contained in the Metalith™ website show the Metalith blast barriers and crash barriers configured in bare metal finishes. This configuration displays engineered containment structure for the ballast material providing the excellent blast mitigation and anti-ram protection.

However, for many of the critical infrastructure applications the Metalith barrier systems can protect, it needs to present a more pleasing and aesthetic appearance. The Metalith walls can hold a wide variety of architecturally specified finishes or looks. These can be as unique or as functional as an architect or engineering firm specifies. Three examples include the:

Architectural concept exteriors for Metalith barriers

Architects were recently asked to develop a number of conceptual exteriors that could be readily connected to the Metalith barrier containment structures. Some of the exterior concepts were unique, some were functional, and some were designed to be inexpensive. What can be attached to the Metalith barrier system can be as distinctive or as practical as an architect or engineering firm specifies. Some examples include the:

  • Cedar latticework wood exterior
  • Translucent plastic panel exterior
  • Solar panel exterior
  • Acrylic polymer brick exterior
  • Metal and concrete panel exterior
Metalith security barrier with cedar exterior - illustration

The cedar wood exterior demonstrates how different the Metalith barrier walls can be made to look while still providing excellent force protection, blast mitigation, and anti-ram vehicle protection. The cedar provides a warm natural look masking the true protection immediately behind the exterior.

Metalith security barrier with translucent exterior - illustration

The translucent plastic panels provide an inexpensive method of providing a modern look to the Metalith barriers.

Metalith security barrier with solar exterior - illustration

The solar panels supporting a lattice of growing plants again provides a modern look softened by the introduction of year round growing plants while adding the capability to generate electricity. Once again, the true nature of the Metalith protective barriers is concealed by the architectural exterior design.

There are a wide array of exterior finishes that can be specified for the Metalith and they typically can be reasonably accommodated. An example is the acrylic polymer brick-like finish shown in the figure to the right completely altering the "no-nonsense" appearance of the Metalith sheet metal facing.

Acrylic polymer brick-like finish illustration

Another unique design is a Metalith barrier encased in a pre-cast concrete panel that is faced with a metal panel cut in a geometric pattern. For water protection and aesthetic looks the top is covered by a rigid polyurethane foam cap an highlighted with an occasional polyurethane post top.

Pre-cast concrete panel with a metal panel cut in a geometric pattern - illustration


Application use exteriors

The Infrastructure Defense Technologies' Metalith perimeter security earth filled protective barrier system may lend itself to other uses. Basic CMI wall modules may be combined to produce any length of wall or cover the entire perimeter of even a large facility, providing either or both anti-ram and blast wall protection as shown in the illustration below.

Metalith perimeter security barrier offering blast mitigation protection from VBIED - illustration.

This configuration shows a basic Metalith barrier system offering protection from an inadvertent or deliberate attempt to crash through the walls or blast mitigation protection from a vehicle borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) that could be detonated with little standoff in this rendering.

For applications where the engineering or architectural specifications may require a wall height higher than recommended, although 25 to 40 foot wall heights are possible, the addition of a Kevlar® blast or obscuration shield can easily extend the height of wall up to 60 feet above the corrugated metal portion. This wall height would make the wall nearly impossible for any intruder to climb.

Metalith perimeter security barrier with anti-climb option- illustration.

The basic Metalith protective barriers may be easily enhanced with many types of surface coatings or false exteriors to provide a stone or brick appearance, stucco, or a smooth or rough surface in various colors all enhancing the basic anti-blast, anti-crash barrier's appearance.

Metalith protective barrier walls with surface coating - illustration

The Metalith perimeter security barriers can be augmented with the addition of a transparent obscuration shield providing a protective and visual screening height of up to 60 feet for this application, a satellite downlink station.

Metalith perimeter security wall with downlink protection screen - illustration

If a visual screening effect is not enough, the Metalith anti-blast and anti-ram walls can be modified to produce a "Tall Wall" (60 feet in height as shown in the diagram to the left) used to completely obscure the satellite downlink site as shown.

Metalith security barrier with Tall Wall - illustration

The configuration below incorporates poles mounted inside the Metalith earth or sand ballast to support the upper barrier material. It shows how the vertical supports penetrate into the Metalith roof and fill ballast to provide support for the "Tall Wall" configuration.

View from the back side of the Tall wall - illustration

The architect or engineer may specify the basic Metalith barriers with our Anti-Climb optional panels making the barrier much more difficult to scale and providing an excellent deterrent to an average intruder. Adding a barbed wire or electrical wire deterrent increases the likelihood that most intruders will not try to gain access while still providing excellent blast mitigation and anti-ram vehicle protection.

Metalith wall with anti-climb option and barbed wire - illustration


Special pipeline protection configuration

A concern at home as well as for many locations overseas is the protection of natural gas and crude and refined oil pipelines plus the supporting pumping station infrastructure. Oil pipelines are usually the only feasible way to transport significant volumes by land over long distances. The diagram shown below illustrates a basic unprotected pipeline.

Unprotected pipeline - illustration

Below is a basic, baseline, method showing how the Metalith panels can be used as a pipeline protection system. However, this configuration does not provide easy access for service or repair.

Metalith protected pipeline system - illustration

Another configuration designed for the Metalith use as a pipeline protective system uses a hollowed version with two vertical Metalith mini-walls supporting a capstone section, all filled with sand, earth, or other ballast material. This configuration allows direct access to the pipeline at designed intervals for pipeline maintenance crews.

Metalith pipeline protective systems with two vertical mini-walls.

The Metalith earth filled protective barrier system is designed to protect personnel and critical infrastructure facilities from the blast effects of a high order detonation, shield them from incursions from vehicles crashing into walls attempting to break through or just by accident, deter simple manual intrusions, and delay those making armed incursions. The interior doesn't change much to provide these benefits.

The exterior or finish is only limited by the imagination of designers, architects and end-users.

Call us today at 1-800-379-1822, email us at to learn more how the Metalith barrier walls can be configured and finished to meet your unique protection needs.


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The Metalith
A Division of Infrastructure Defense Technologies

6550 Revlon Drive • Belvidere, Illinois 61008
Phone: 1-800-379-1822 • Fax: 1-815-323-1317



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Metalith - perimeter security barriers brochure

For more information about the Metalith blast mitigation and anti-ram physical security barriers, please request our FREE BROCHURE by mail.

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